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Poetry Friday

Posted 11-04-2011 at 05:15 PM by nzkiwi

I think it was sometime last NaBloPoMo when I was last partaking in Poetry Friday, but now that I'm back to at least attempting to revive this blog, I figured I'd leap back in today with a poem that is in my plans to share with my students soon. I try to incorporate a poem into each and every one of our writing workshop days, and after our class library day (which is always fun), this seemed very appropriate today. Especially as I've got a good read awaiting me upstairs that I know already I'm picking up once I complete this entry tonight. So without further ado:

Reading Myself To Sleep
by Billy Collins

The house is all in darkness except for this corner bedroom
where the lighthouse of a table lamp is guiding
my eyes through the narrow channels of print,

and the only movement in the night is the slight
swirl of curtains, the easy lift and fall of my breathing,
and the flap of pages as they turn in the wind

Musings of a Lazy Teacher

Posted 11-03-2011 at 05:11 PM by nzkiwi

Tonight I have been lazy.

I *should* be grading papers, or writing up student goals, or getting countless other things done that make my to do list longer than I even want to think about, but I'm not. Ever since I got home from work this afternoon, I have been lazy. I checked email, relaxed on the couch and watched part of a movie, and now am in the midst of writing.

I have a tendency to be hard on myself for taking such lazy afternoons. With my school bag loaded with things that need done, my mind has continually been shouting, "Get to work!" but my motivation just isn't listening. I try telling myself that it's a good thing, but it's so easy to slip back to the feeling that I should be using my time more productively.

It's a tough thing being a teacher. My work hours state I'm on the job from 7:45 to 2:45 each day, but of course, in actuality there is no time clock which I can punch out on. Whether it is simply my concern...

There is light at the end of this tunnel!

Posted 11-02-2011 at 01:13 PM by nzkiwi

A couple weeks ago I posted a status update to Facebook simply saying: "Is there light at the end of this tunnel?" I felt like I was drowning and overwhelmed with work. But fast forward to today and I'm happy to report that I actually think I finally see the light again!

It's amazing how much can change in 24 hrs. Yesterday afternoon at this time my stress level was still pretty high. There were grades to still finalize, an observation to prepare for, and countless other things on my to do list. And while my to do list is still plenty long, just having the pressure of grades & observations over for awhile has drastically improved things.

The lesson I was worried about ended up going pretty well. My kids were relatively focused (for 7th period) and most seemed to be paying attention, and to be honest, I think it was one of the best reading workshop days we've had in a long time. It was definitely the first time this year when I felt...

Observation Day!

Posted 11-01-2011 at 05:21 PM by nzkiwi

That was today.....and also tomorrow. One of the drawbacks of changing districts has been that I'm basically considered a brand new teacher again and therefore have to go through twice the observations of most teachers.

I'll be glad when tomorrow is over. It's not that I hate getting observed — anyone is welcome to wander into my classroom at any time and I really don't care — BUT I hate the pressure of formal observations. Admin tells us the class period they want to observe and the week they want to come, and then we're told to pick the day. And it's that choice that I hate! It's like an unofficial command that says: "Be sure you pick your best lesson!"

For instance, tomorrow. It's a reading workshop day. What my kids need is another follow-up lesson on tracking thinking and responding to literature, because the recent reading responses I graded are still suffering horribly from an overload of summary and very little reflection. ...

We Have to Stop Meating Like This...

Posted 10-20-2011 at 03:08 AM by Speced9

The new job means new experiences, namely, a crap-load of meetings. It's been at these meetings that a new PET PEEVE has reared its ugly head.

Picture this- You're at a meeting first thing in the morning. As the discussion proceeds, in walks Miss Lucy Late. Miss Late, as you guessed, is ALWAYS LATE to these early morning meetings, but that isn't the peeve that I pet. As a matter of fact, Principal Ermaline Early, who is always early, bugs me just as much as Lucy Late. In all fairness, I must also bring Mrs. Sally Psychologist into the mix because she shares similar attributes with Principal Early and Miss Late. So, what do these fellow colleagues have in common that drives me insane?

THEY'RE ALL MEETING EATERS, or as i like to call them,

This is my pet peeve of the early morning meeting. All three go about things differently though. They each have their own unique characteristics and styles for driving me...

Teachers who have DISABILITIES

Posted 10-10-2011 at 03:18 PM by smile 1973

I am a teacher with a visual impairment and I am curious if there are other teachers out there with different abilities. I would like for us to share experiences and have a place to discuss our feeling about receiving accomodations from our districts and from our Principals.

Chalkboards, seating plans and meal worms

Posted 10-04-2011 at 02:34 PM by musicbug

I know moving into new digs is always an adjustment( hence why this is my first entry since school started), but boy oh boy, did I get some fun surprises.
Many of the faithful readers might remember that my classrooms are usually haunted by a ghost named Bob. Somehow, Bob is still MIA. Unless he is the one swelling the door on its hinges. Bob, bud, if that is you, second graders aren't as strong as the big kids. When they need to go...they NEED to go. Ease up on the door.
I am also mourning the passing of my white board. My classroom only has a chalkboard that has seen better days. I was told the former teacher brought in her own board, I just might have to do the same.

I just moved furniture again. I haven't quite found the arrangement I like. I'm back to the horse shoe with middle people desks again. Note to self, watch out for falling desk chairs when moving desks after the kids leave. 5ths will move desks for you and have a mini house warming for...

update of sorts

Posted 09-24-2011 at 01:48 AM by Mr Sensai

Ok I never posted about the date in the last post for a while. It was forgettable as the friend was a dud but I felt it was my job to keep her entertained so my friend could have fun. I really wish I could write more about the date but again it was not interesting at all.

Fast forward to date #2 with the girl from the last post. Went Ok. Spent 5 hours together. Yea she was 35 minutes late. But it was more of a friendly date I guess. Have not seen her since but we do talk. I stopped emailing her and she now is interested in seeing me again. Typical female behavior.

Also had a date today with an American chick. Shockingly it went better than expected and her picture she sent did NOT do her justice. Had a fun time with no plans and just walked around and it was real nice to be able to hang out with someone who can be herself and HONEST and not your typical shy oh my god what will others think Japanese woman. Best date I had in a while.

So This Proctologist Walks Into an IEP Meeting and...

Posted 09-20-2011 at 04:14 PM by Speced9

When I considered taking a resource position, I made my lists of PROS and CONS. The PROS won by a landslide, which must have greatly upset the items on the CONS list. So far this year, those little CONS have been UBER CONS (guess I better copyright that phrase now). So, you ask, what has been the worst UBER CON© to date? THE PSUEDO ADMINISTRATOR (PA) in our midst.

Yes, you guessed correctly. The PA does get the PSUEDO LOBOTOMY like the authentic administrator (TPTB). How else would they think they are administration to begin with? My PA is our special education case manager (SECM). Let me give you a little background on the SECM. First off, it's no coincidence that SECM is only four letters away from the word SPECULUM. Both can be a pain in my ass and seem to open me up for all kinds hideous experiences. To make matters worse, my SECM is a former administrator and thinks that the power is still with them. I see it differently. To me, our SECM is like mall...

I need more time!

Posted 09-18-2011 at 06:49 PM by nzkiwi

"Oh, I just need more time!" -- that seems to be a very familiar thought during the school year. So much always to do and what seems like so little time to do it. The hours in class and out of class just never seem like quite enough.

I hoped the move to just teaching one subject would help this year and I suppose in some ways it has (i.e. lesson planning is going quicker), but I still find myself frequently lamenting "Oh, if I just had more time..."

For example:

Oh, if I just had more time...

- I'd blog much more regularly, and this wouldn't be the first entry of the year.

- I'd have all my papers graded, and not feel bad walking in tomorrow with papers from last week still ungraded.

- I'd have the reading response blog I want to try out with my students this year already created, especially as I want to implement it soon and it currently exists only in my brain.


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